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tv   British House of Commons  CSPAN  September 21, 2014 9:00pm-10:01pm EDT

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talks about u.s. efforts to identify home grown isis threats and the former chair of the joint chiefs of staff on the u.s. military strategy to combat isis. and a "the washington post" staff writer looks at the money . ovided by medicare as always we'll take your calls and you can join the conversation. "washington journal" is live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. secretary of state john kerry chaired a u.n. security council meeting friday on combating isis. he told members that a holistic, global campaign is the best way to destroy isis. his is about 30 minutes. >> the 7, 271st meeting of the
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security council is called to order. the provisional agenda for this eting is the situation concerning iraq. the agenda is adopted. it's my pleasure to warmly welcome this extraordinary turnout of ministers and their distinguished representatives in the security council chamber. the participation here today, the numbers of people who have traveled from afar, some of whom will turn around and go right back and then come back again. but the extent of dedication of so many to be able to be here given the press of business for everybody in this chamber is a statement in itself about the importance of the matter under discussion.
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not re deeply grateful just on behalf of our invitation but to all the countries who have understood the responsibilities and seriousness of this moment. we express our great gratitude to everyone. in accordance with rule 37 of the council's provisional rules of procedure, i invite the representatives of albania, bahrain, belgium, canada, denmark, egypt, fin land, germany, georgia, iraq, the islamic republic of iran, italy, japan, lebanon, the netherlands, norway, oman, poland, qatar, saudi arabia, spain, turkey, and the united a-emirates to participate in this meeting. it is so decided. in accordance with rule 39 of the council's provisional rules
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of procedure i invite the special representative of the special representative of the secretary general and head of the united nations assistance mission for iraq to participate in this meeting. it is so decided. the security council will now begin its consideration of item two of the agenda and i now nikolai floor to mr. salad noff -- vladinof. >> thank you, mr. president of the council. thank you, honorable representatives present for this meeting. it is an honor indeed to meet with the security council today on behalf of the secretary general. mr. president, this is the fourth time i address the council on the devastation brought to the people of iraq by the islamic state of -- on behalf of the u.n. mission in iraq let me thank the security council for its continued interest and unity in expressing support for the people and the government of
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it as well as making possible for our mission to fulfill its mandate. your calls for timely elections and a government information process have not gone unheeded. your condemnation of the violence and human rights abuses has been welcomed by iraqis. finally, your consistent pronouncements most recently through the adoption of security council resolution 2170 continues to encourage the people of iraq they are not alone. mr. president, iraq's transition has been painful and scarred by much violence. its people, however, have shown an unmatched ability to persevere despite the difficulties. most recently, amidst a rapidly deteriorating security environment, they came out to vote in a competitive election that was followed finally by a peaceful transition of power. as iraq's new government of national unit is moving to restore security to large parts of the country it also seeks to strengthen the relationship
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between the ethnic and religious communities to also look to the international community for support. today when iraq faces a life threatening danger from the advance of isis the people of iraq look to your countries, members of the security council, neighbors, allies, and friends. they look to the international community and the united nations for collective measures for the removal of a threat to peace in iraq and the rest of the region. since the beginning of the year, isol and its affiliated armed groups have captured large parts of northern and western iraq. they have gained access to substantial amounts of weapon, financial and natural resources. the network spanning the globe reached out to recruit foreign fighters in the battle to dismantle the iraqi state. months before mosul fell to the hands of isol the provinces of anbar had become a ground for this terrorist organization. throughout this period the united nations mission in iraq
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observed and underscored the organization's strategy of terror which continues to undermine legitimate authorities through kidnappings, assassinations, and violence. it seeks to use the discontent among some communities and turn it into bitterness and violence. it uses the consolidated control over extended territory in both iraq and syria combined with an ideology of hatred, and fear, to present a clear danger for the very existence of the unified iraqi state. it is a threat to the region and to international security. mr. president, for the last period the combined efforts of targeted air strikes, iraqi security forces and kurd ishoperations have allowed for some areas to be brought back under the control of legitimate authorities. they have been instrumental in saving thousands of lives from imminent deaths in the mountain of sinja. they have protected the city of
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arbel and safeguarded infrastructure and they have arrested the advance of isol toward the capital baghdad. despite these successest most recently however isis forces have been able to take control of key towns. i am encouraged to report the coordination between the federal government of iraq and the kurdistan regional government has substantially increased. mr. president, iraq is facing escalating emergency with up to 1.8 million people displaced since january. 850,000 of these people have sought refuge in the kurdistan region alone. just in the past fortnight an additional 10,000 families have been displaced from their homes. the humanitarian crisis is not just in the north of the country as tens of thousands of people have fled to the south where many are hosted by families and religious institutions. the pressure on local communities is growing as the
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continuing influx has created a massive shelter crisis. with winter fast approaching immediate and critical measures need to be enhanced. furthermore as over 2,000 schools are currently providing shelter throughout country the start of the school year is already delayed by one month. in response the u.n. has mounted a massive humanitarian effort across iraq to provide food, shelter, water, sanitation, and health assistance. we continue to face immense challenges in reaching an estimated 650,000 people who are still in the areas of active conflict. i use this opportunity to call on the government of iraq to put forward a national strategy to address the situation of the displaced people as well as the immediate restoration of payments of salaries and essential services throughout the country. their efforts must be encouraged and their financial commitments to help the humanitarian catastrophe must be recognized. the u.n. stands ready to provide additional assistance and improving the coordination delivery of services.
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on behalf of the entire u.n. family let me thank those member states who have so far responded to our call for assistance and have followed through with generous support to the u.n. humanitarian effort. i want to also recognize the kingdom of saudi arabia which has contributed some $3500 million out of a total of $712 million for the u.n. effort in iraq. over 60% of this substantial donation has already been spent on tents, food, and other items for hundreds of thousands of idp's. having said this i have to note with growing concern that available funding for humanitarian operations will be exhausted before the winter and additional support will be needed. mr. president, the current crisis has had a devastating effect on the respect and protection of human rights in iraq. the u.n. estimates that since january there have been some 25,000 civilian casualties including at least 8, 500 killed and more than 16,000 wounded.
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on behalf of the secretary general and entire u.n. team in iraq i extend my deepest condolences to the families of victims and victims of terrorism. minorities including christians and others have been particularly targeted by isol who have sought their systematic and deliberate cleansing from territories under their control. they have perpetrated acts that may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide. the u.n. mission in iraq continues to investigate reports of violations and abuses of international humanitarian and human rights law. our teams have conducted over 500 interviews with victims of and witnesses of these violations. as a result of this, the u.n. has verified systematic and widespread human rights violations committed both by ice ole and associated groups but also violations and abuses committed by armed groups to forces of the government as well as some committed by the iraqi security forces. a public report was published
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in july while a second one is currently under preparation. on account of the gravity of the crimes committed by isol i welcome the decision by the u.n. human rights council to dispatch a mission to iraq to investigate alleged violences and abuses of international human rights law and humanitarian law. mr. president, the fall of mosul forced people to understand it was not just the survival of their country that was at stake but the very existence of their communities. all iraqis no matter what ethnic or religious community they belong to stand to lose if they fail to cooperate against the growing threat of terrorism, radicalism, and extremism. today there is a growing understanding that for any security plan to succeed it needs to be broadly accepted by all. there is an agreement among key decision makers that security cannot be provided without the full respect of the constitution, rule of law, international humanitarian law, and human rights standards. the conditions that breed discontent and violence in iraq needs to be addressed as a
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matter of priority so the affected community particularly those currently located in conflict areas should be brought back into the democratic process. the iraqi constitution remains the guiding framework for legitimately resolving all grievances. reforms that allow for better service delivery, policies that contribute to social peace and of lopment, devoliution authority and provision of public services and measures against corruption and most importantly the strengthening of rule of law and democratic accountability will all allow the country to move forward. transitional justice and reconciliation are impossible without addressing the human rights violations of the past and the present. abuses of human rights being lessened will undermine any attempt. i am pleased to report that since this appointment the government has made important
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steps and has a strong beginning for its collective work. i very much welcome the prime minister's recent order to suspend the iraqi air force strikes in civilian areas including isol controlled areas and his public commitment to the protection of civilians. i urge the government of iraq to fully uphold this commitment. as commander-in-chief the prime minister has taken the initiative to restructure the leadership of the iraqi armed forces. these decisions are encouraging steps toward meeting the demands for reform. i further welcome the council of ministers' decision to establish a reconstruction fund to rebuild the areas damaged by military operations. the u.n. stands ready to assist in this respect. i am also very pleased to report the council of ministers initiated the process of drafting a law for the creation of the national guard. this will allow for the devolution of authority. in his most recent address to parliament the prime minister has committed to resolving outstanding budgetary disputes
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between the federal government and the kurdistan region. i encourage the iraqi government to swiftly move forward in restoring subsidies arting in september to the provinces. the federal government, and the kurdistan regional government should move quickly to reach agreement on the outstanding payment. finally, it is time for the pervasive issues of revenue and budget sharing to be resolved in line with the constitution. as always the united nations in iraq is ready to continue facilitating this process. all members of the international community should continue to work closely both with the government of iraq and the kurdistan regional government and extend to iraq the security, humanitarian, and developmental assistance it needs. mr. president the stakes are very high for both the people of iraq and the region. iraq and all its regional neighbors have an unprecedented opportunity to restart bilateral relations based on mutual interests and
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partnerships. this cooperation should be open and inclusive of all neighbors who can contribute to addressing the challenge of isol. the recent adoption of security council resolution 2170, the arab league resolution 7804, the paris conference on peace and security in iraq, and the recent discussions held at nato all strengthen international support for iraq in its time of need. the u.n. stands ready to support iraq and the region by coordinating the political social humanitarian efforts needed to address the current crisis. in closing, mr. president, let me be very clear. isol is a scourge that has brought untold sorrow to the people of iraq and syria. they have shown contempt for equality, fundamental human rights, and the dignity and worth of human -- of the human person. they not only ignore but they also show disdain for international law. and their per versailles december of justice are evidence of their actions over
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the centuries. this can be addressed if iraq, the region, and the world together come and work on the basis of the framework of the charter of the united nations and the relevant security council resolutions. thank you. >> thank you very much for the briefing and i think more importantly from all of us we thank the secretary general and you as a special representative heading up the assistance mission and all the work you are doing. we are very grateful to you. the council has the text of a statement by the president on behalf of the council and i thank the council members for their very valuable contributions to this statement. in accordance with the understanding reached among the members i shall take it that the members of the security council agree to the statement which will be issued as a document of the security uncil under the symbol
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s/prsd/2014/20. it is so decided. i now have the privilege to give the floor to his excellency, the minister of foreign affairs of iraq. >> thank you, mr. president. allow me at the outset to express my appreciation of your having our meeting today in view of the seriousness of the threat that we face not only in iraq but over the whole world. i also value the presence of many foreign minister colleagues from friendly countries whose presence today proves the gravity of the threat we face. i'd also like to thank the united states for holding this meeting with a view to mobilizing international
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support to face up to isis and its affiliated organizations. i'd also like to welcome the . iefing iraq reaffirms its position to face up to terrorism as an international scourge that should be eliminatedd it is extremely important for coordination and cooperation amongst th all authorities to take place. the influx of terrorist fighters from all over the world to establish this state of isis is a great danger not only to iraq and syria but the entire region. fighting those terrorists in iraq, mr. president, and sparing the iraqi people their evil is in the interests of the entire world. this is a war being launched against the people of iraq,
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fighting on behalf of all other people. they have violated our land and the dignity of man. l the iraqi people have -- and others istians, are all against this evil. we would like to restore peace and stability so we can restore public services to the people especially in the affected areas. the actions of isis have led to the displacement of more than 1 million iraqis toward kurdistan and other areas in the south. however, in spite of the political and security elected the newly government has cooperated with the united nations organizations in iraq to alleviate the suffering of the people and enable security forces to restore their control
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of the entire territory of iraq nd to assist displaced families to their homes. in spite of these challenges and continued threats the iraqi people have been able to hold international elections followed by the formation of a unity government that pays attention to the concerns of the entire people of iraq in all its factions and has committed itself to establish, implement the main principles in the documents agreed to by all parties of iraq to enhance national unity and social cohesion and to take the necessary measures to face up to terrorism. we have nationally agreed on the formation of a national government that includes all sections of society, mobilizing all efforts, internationally and regionally, to face up to terrorism in an effective way
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to deal with other challenges that face the region. we believe the main responsibility to fight isis and other terrorist organizations on our territory is our responsibility. and the responsibility of the iraqi armed forces and the national guard as well. however, areas of force require assistance by friendly nations. we have taken all measures to enhance national unity and take unified action. we have previously warned that the situation in syria would eventually affect iraq and this major threat should be removed not only from iraq but from any other country. iraq has previously called upon your security council on the 25th of june, 2014, requesting assistance by the international community and, therefore, i would like to state the following.
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the military, economic, and financial assistance to iraq should continue to support its ounter offensive against isis, removing the threat requires the removal of all its fighters including in neighboring countries and any military actions against isis should be done in coordination with the iraqi armed forces. urgent, humanitarian assistance should be provided to alleviate the suffering of more than 1.8 million people including women and children. we call upon member states of the united nations to remain committed to the implementation of human rights council resolutions and security council resolutions in this regard with a view to drying up the sources of financing and military support to isis and to prevent isis from dealing in
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the natural resources in the areas they control. the united nations strategy against federalism has stressed these points and we would like to stress that this threat will not be removed unless we fight the extremist ideas that support it. the advocates of such extremist eas should be prevented from public speech and should be countered at all levels. the people and government of iraq appreciate the roles played by the united nations, european nations, and other nations including countries that have assisted in providing the needs of the displaced and in assisting people in affected areas where fighting has been severe. we are all facing a grave danger that has no respect for
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human rights or humanitarian aspects. we should all work for the opposite culture of love, prosperity, and cooperation. finally, we'd like to express our appreciation of the assistance provided, in particular humanitarian assistance to the displaced and reaffirm our appreciation and thanks to the team for the dedication in assisting iraq in its crisis. thank you, sir. >> thank you very much. your excellency, for a very important statement and we appreciate it very much, your leadership and the new government's efforts. now, it's my privilege to make a statement in my capacity as secretary of state of the united states. let me start again by thanking every single one of you for
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participating in this session. i've seen in the last weeks traveling around how extraordinarily busy everybody is and how committed to this effort everyone is through their actions as well as through their incredibly busy schedules. i'm convinced that the fact that so many countries are represented here from so many parts of the world really underscores the clear need for all of us to come together, to welcome and to support the new, inclusive government in iraq and, of course, to put an end o isol's unfettered barbarity. i want to thank secretary our new on abwelcome iraqi counterpart , the prime minister. i don't need to remind anyone here that the last two times the eyes of the world were
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focused on iraq was when its government was in confrontation with the international community, with great consequences. today, however, we come together in support of the new iraqi government that is already made -- has already made great strides in a short amount of time. and we must not miss this moment. last week i made my second trip to baghdad in just over two months to meet with the new iraqi government and i was very encouraged to hear them reaffirm their commitment to govern in the interests of all iraqis and to finally begin to address the deep divisions that we're all aware of, including those over energy resources, regional autonomy, and the composition of the security forces. all of these have plagued iraq throughout its modern history. they're also committed to empowering local communities to
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mobilize, to maintain security control in their area, and work with the international community to defeat isol. indeed, iraqi has responded to the isol threat with a spirit of unity that the country has not experienced in decades, if ever. last month, an iraqi arab pilot major general sadi flew an iraqi air force helicopter with of d ishcrew and a member poll irment and with the single al of rescuing them on mount sinjar. tragically, the helicopter crashed. the general was the only one killed. but before he died he told the "new york times" reporter that the mission to rescue this group was the most important thing he had ever done in his entire life and career as an iraqi pilot. this historic level of
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cooperation between iraqi and kurd ishforces has resonated deeply in both communities. as the president explained earlier this month, my president, isol is a terrorist organization, pure and simple. it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way. in a region that has known so much bloodshed, these terrorists are actually unique in their brutality. they execute captured prisoners, kneeling them down, tying their hands behind their back, bullet through their heads. they kill children. they enslave, rape, and force women into marriage. they threatened a religious minority with genocide. and in acts of basharism they took the lives of two american journalists, and a british aid
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worker, david haines. isol simply poses a threat to the people of iraq and syria and the broader middle east. and if left unchecked, these terrorists certainly would pose a growing threat beyond the region because they have already promised to. ultimately history will judge how the world responds to this moment to this challenge. in the face of this sort of evil, we have only one option. to confront it with a holistic, global campaign that is committed and capable of degrading and destroying this terrorist threat, to confront it with a holistic, global campaign that is committed and capable enough to ensure whether in iraq, syria, or elsewhere, isol cannot find safe haven. as president obama has clearly explained, and as i think everyone in this room is well aware at this point, the coalition required to eliminate
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isol is not only or even primarily military in nature. it must be comprehensive and include close collaboration across multiple lines of effort. it's about taking out an entire network, decimating and discreditting a militant cult masquerading as a religious movement. the fact is there is a role for nearly every country in the world to play including iran, whose foreign minister is here with us today. isol poses a threat to all of us and we're committed to working in close partnership with the new iraqi government and countries around the world to defeat it. that's why i spent the past week consulting with my iraqi counterparts and traveling in the middle east and in europe building partnerships and that's why we were so focused on hosting this session here
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today. i thank the foreign minister for saudi arabia's leadership in hosting their conference. i thank the leadership in france in hosting the conference in paris. from each of these has come a greater and greater commitment to do what we need to do. i have to tell you in many of the meetings i've had so far leaders aren't talking about if they should support our campaign against isol. they're asking how. and already across each of the lines of effort that we're focused on we have seen more than 50 countries come forward with critical commitments. first, on military support. countries in the region and around the world are already providing assistance both in terms of kin etic action but also in the form of training, advising, equipping, providing
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logistical support, and so on. in the region, countries like egypt have committed to significantly enhance the coordination between its forces and iraqi and kurdish forces. even further away from iraq, countries like australia are committed to deploy fire jets and support aircraft and personnel. germany in recognition of the grave threat posed by isol reversed its long standing policy against offering lethal aid. france last night conducted its first air strikes against isol targets in iraq. these forms of assistance provided at the request of iraq and with full respect for its sovereignty, are essential to combating isol. but they are only one part of a comprehensive approach that is required. we're also seeing overwhelming support when it comes to humanitarian assistance.
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dozens of countries from throughout the international community have so far committed almost $1 billion to the u.n. led humanitarian response in iraq. that includes donations from countries within the region -- saudi arabia, qatar, and elsewhere, as well as funds from countries on the other side of the world -- japan, new zealand, south korea and more. we're seeing encouraging progress in the effort to dry up isol's illicit funding as well. and bahrain has offered to host an international conference in the near future to further develop a global action plan to counter terrorist financing. as we'll discuss next week at the session that president obama will chair, we must also stop the flow of foreign fighters to isol, men and women who carry passports from countries around the world, including nearly every country represented in this room. this is yet another area where
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countries have already begun to take important steps including legislation, criminalizing the recruitment, preparation, and participation of their citizens in combat activities of terrorism abroad. and, finally, there is an urgent need to cowanner the poisonous propaganda and gross distortion of islam that isol is spreading far and wide. it is time to put an end to a group so extreme in its rejection of modernity that it bans math and social studies for children. it's time to put an end to the sermons by extremists that brain wash young men to join these terrorist groups and commit mass atrocities in the name of god. this is something that leaders in the region are very focused ob. saudi arabia's top clerics this week came out publicly and declared terrorism a heinous
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crime under shaharya law and called isol in particular the rder of satan. all of this is vital because we know in preventing an individual from joining isol or getting to the battle field in the first place that is the most effective measure you can take. but for this campaign to have any chance of success, iraq itself and its security forces on the front lines must be leading the way. that's one of the reasons why it's imperative we all go the extra mile to help iraq fully reintegrate into the region and into the global community of nations. and that's starting to happen. last week the iraqis long estranged from their neighbors and isolated from the world were not just invited but were warmly welcomed at ternational meetings in jeda and paris and here in new york before the security council and
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the entire world. what is different about today's meeting and this is one reason why we're so grateful to so many ministers for traveling here, is that the last meetings the world did not share in the deliberation or the discussion formally as it went on. they heard afterwards. today the world can listen to each of the ministers and they will understand the breadth and scope of the support for this effort. so we're well on our way. that doesn't mean we're where we need to be. i hope that today the progress that i've described will continue and over the course of this week more partners will come forward and more commitments to these efforts will be announced. make no mistake. our work to build and enhance this coalition will continue well after this week is over. i commit that to you and president obama firmly commits that. and one of our most respected military experts sitting right here behind me, general john
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allen, who served in afghanistan in command of our forces there for two years and also in iraq and knows many of the people in iraq for his service in anbar has agreed to come to the state department with a presidential appointment and oversee the u.s. effort to match up each country's capabilities with the coalition's total needs. so the line of effort is coordinatedd. i look forward to hearing from all of you this afternoon. again, i just close by thanking everybody for joining this discussion and i'm absolutely confident that through a global campaign that is comprehensive and committed we can support the promise of the new government in iraq, and we can defeat the isol threat wherever it exists. >> the british parliament is in recess. question time returns wednesday , october 15th. at find video of
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past prime ministers' questions and other british public affairs programs. >> here are just a few of the comments we've recently received from our viewers. >> regarding the ebola outbreak, you know, i wish you'd have some guests on to talk about the history of africa in general, how that entire continent, just about every country in it, for over a hundred and something years, has been totally raped. i'm going to use that word. raped. their resources depleted, the people used by crooked leaders, corrupt leaders, which the corporations are only too glad to do business with. there's never been any oversight on what happened to that continent, one of the most beautiful continents, where life began really. bused.'s just been a
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>> commenting about the benghazi hearing this morning which was well done and thank you for that. however, i would offer the observation that the real reason that we're still having ese hearings is because of the work that was done to cover up any possible negativism out of the benghazi incident including the coaching of susan rice. i don't need to go through all of that. but that coverup is what the problem really is. they're finding good things to work on and fix going forward but if we hean covered up, the administration hadn't covered up we would not be having this hearing today. we would have finished it a long time ago.
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yesterday a segment on c-span featuring john yu, a guy, an attorney who supported government torture so i find the man totally without credibility and for c-span to present him as any kind of decent, civil ayes dollars person, just, wow. the nazis were really big on government torture programs. it seems this guy is kind of in the same mold. >> continue to let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. call 202-626-3400. e-mail us at or send us a tweet. join the c-span conversation. like us on facebook. follow us on twitter. >> coming up next , the publisher of "the des moines register" on the future of newspapers. at 11:00 p.m. "q & a" with
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jenny beth martin president of tea party patriots. then another chance to see secretary of state john kerry peaking at the united nations. on tuesday, the president and publisher of "the des moines register" spoke to iowa state university students about the future of newspapers and about iowa's role in national politics. he also answered questions about social media and the job market. this is an hour ten minutes. >> i'm here to introduce rick green. rick green is the president and publisher of the register company which is of course the power house news organization here in iowa. i can say it is a power house because it's one of our competitors of the sioux city jourm. he was promoted from editor
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last year and now oversees pubblecages in sioux falls and iowa city. before that he was editor of the desert sun in palm springs, california and editor of the cincinnati enquirer. rick is an ohio native and his rst job was for the -- cochocton where he started as a high school sophomore. please join me in welcoming rick green. >> congratulations on that baby. >> thank you very much. >> appreciate the welcome. well, good evening. hoy are you? how are you? am i okay here? good. boy, it's nice to see everybody. how is everybody tonight? i got to tell you how flattered and humbled i am, incredibly
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kind, chris. thank you for breaking away from that two-week-old baby. i'm sure your wife is pleasant and happy that you're here tonight. i specifically want to thank you for -- in honor of your dead husband just to thank you so much for establishing this remarkable program and the legacy that you leave and getting a chance to be here and be part of this great program. journalism is so important. it's more than just today and more than tomorrow but for generations and programs like this make it so possible so thank you so very much for this very successful program. i wish my father back in east central ohio could be here tonight. my dad was never a big fan of the whole journalism thing. when i was a kid, he advised me. he said i want you to be an engineer. want you to be a lawyer. get in the family coal mining business even. i just don't want you to be a
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journalist. i finally said to him between my junior and senior year, dad, i kind of decided where i want to go to school and what i want to be. i want to be a reporter. ultimately i want to be an editor and maybe even some day a publisher. my dad was a little disapproving and he said to me, didn't offer too many words of wisdom but he offered this one that stuck with me today. he said, rick, he called me ricky. there is no sin in being poor. it just comes mighty unhandy when you're hungary. my father didn't see the future in newspapers but i hope by tonight's, the end of tonight my dad sees what i'm going to share with you that there is indeed a future in newspapers here. just a quick opening observation and then a confession of sorts. i've never fans idiosyncrasy myself a leck -- i've never fancied myself a lecturer. i am much more comfortable with a good conversation, exchange of questions, and great
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dialogue. i'm going to share a few remarks and observations about this industry of ours and tackle your questions afterward or until mickey turns out the light. i'm a pretty spontaneous communicator. i'm not big on notes. i certainly am not big on elaborate, multi media presentations. i just like to have a really good conversation. but especially at 8:00 on a tuesday night. my first mentor in high school was a sports editor of my hometown newspaper. incredibly comfortable in front of crowds. he just always said, rick, just speak from the heart. you might stumble a little bit but do it with unrehearsed conviction and honest passion. two things happened. mickey gave me a call and said a tremendous opportunity here and honor for us we want you to be a chamberlain lecturer and present your thought about this industry and where we're going. this is a place i need to tell you that i have great passion and respect for. when i first got in town this was one of the first institutions i developed a
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relationship with. they're treasured relationships. i'm very grateful for being here. the second, however, came in an e-mail last week. this is when i really started getting a little worried. michael moraine, the register's arts and entertainment reporter, someone who appears often here in the lecture program. his e-mail was very simple. he said uh-oh, rick. you better step up your game next tuesday. students are getting extra credit. so, frank, god bless you. just so you know i scribbled down a few notes tonight. i spent a lot of time in hamilton hall and have an appreciation and deep respect for the students of this respected school and program particularly the staff of the iowa state daily. mickey , you kind of stole my thunder here. also getting a chance to work with mark and your great staff and laura and everybody who has been part of this, i have great respect and tremendous,
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tremendous passion for where it is that you're going. i know several of the greenly students are here tonight for extra credit and a chance to put me on the grill. there was a lukewarm applause. if you're in the greenley program and studying this great craft will you please stand and be recognized and let me salute you with a big round of applause from everybody please? [ applause] >> great. now i need you to sit down and take notes. we're talking about your future. all right? the call came just before lunch n my first day on the job. january, 2011. i think i was in hour six maybe hour seven ased itor of the des moines register. just 72 hours before, i had piled out of my prius over loaded with clothes and boxes and books and had driven from palm springs, california, across the rockies to colorado,
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nebraska, and iowa, for my new home. 60-degree difference between palm springs and des moines at that time. but an entirely different world as well. my head was spinning in a very positive way. i felt sort of like that rookie pitcher who is brought up from triple-a to pitch in the big leagues. a chance, you know, walking around looking at the staff and the placards. i was in iowa's largest newsroom. the place, the trumpets on page one every day the words that are the battle cry of our newsroom. we deliver the news iowa depends on. dream job. never been to des moines. had driven through iowa one time. first time i had been to des moines was the weekend i started. it was how much i wanted to be part of this rock star staff that i had, was inheriting but also be in a state that treasures newspapers. where is chris? where did you go?
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you be that passion which the state has for newspapers. getting back to that call that i took, i don't recall her name and i regret that i probably didn't ask it and certainly don't remember it but i vividly recall she was from a little town in iowa about an hour south of des moines called new virginia iowa. is anybody from new virginia, iowa, warren county? anybody know where that is? i see a hand. are you from there? ten minutes south. about 500 households just a relatively small speck on the map, right? yep. but it's home. it's home. mr. green, she said, very kind, very kind voice, welcome to iowa. with her whole iowa nice charm in full throttle, we all know about this iowa nice concept. she offered a few tips to the new guy from california who landed in iowa just a few days before. she proceeded to tell me where to shop for groceries.
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i prefer meat at fairway she said. when you go to find the best pork tender loin sandwich it's in smitty's south side of des moines and you need to know, rick, there is extreme passion for the political process in this state. you know this is the state that helps prepare candidates for the white house, she said. we had a good exchange, good conversation. then she turned serious and her voice changed. still had the iowa nice. but i scan still hear it in my mind and i really kind of channel her whenever mickey gave me this call about the chance to be here tonight, margie. rick, i've grown up with the register and i can't imagine my day starting without it. but i see the headlines. i've read about cutbacks. i know this is a time of great challenge in your business and this woman who i, unfortunately, had never gotten a chance to reconnect with, she didn't leave her number or name. didn't have an e-mail or
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anything. i just called her new virginia all these years in my mind when i share the story with people. she said to me in one pivotal question, is there a future for "the register?" it was and remains an important question in the state that cher ishes its newspapers. iowa is home to what, more than 300 newspapers? powerful. one of the highest per capita in the entire country which is for a newspaper guy like me, grew up just reading every single newspaper he could get his hands on and knew this is what he wanted to be when he was in about seventh grade to come to iowa where the tap tapestry of the state is defined by the quality of newspapers from sioux city to des moines to all corners of the state. i was so ecstatic about being here. 99 counties, weeklies and dalies that for years have been the essential voice of our communities. the newspapers captured some of our state's greatest moments of hope. unfortunately some tragedy. controversies. celebrations.
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of crooked politicians and hometown heroes who have fought our wars, defended our most vulnerable residents. leaders in our state capitol who went off to bigger things in washington, d.c. these newspapers, these media sites, have helped stitch the very fabric of our communities and the idea of public engagement. in a state that cherishes its role of ensuring good government and preparing the white house, there is not a better place to be. these newspapers that told the story of us, of iowa. but, sadly, we stand here under , september, 2014, attack, right? we've all seen the headlines. we know some of the challenges there. it's easy to use the word victims whenever you start talking about where journalism is, newspapers in particular, where things might be going in some people's minds. words like victims of an unforgiving economy. these are things i read in stories and conversations that i have.
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right? the word victims is used a lot. victims of new reader habits that might not need the morning newspaper as much as some predecessors. victims of new technology where an entire world was information is shared in smart phones and tablets. everybody sees the big announcement last week of apple, right, where the entire world is going to be on your wrist? incredible. unbelievable ramifications for us. i would probably add something else to the whole conversation. newspapers have been the victims unfortunately of some of the leaders' own egos who for too long have resisted transformtive changes that must be made to not only survive and ishishand perform its primary mission to serve its readers. too many ways of not understanding it is a new day and a new way to tell stories and operate. i am confronted every morning
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with the quote, i think a friend sent it just as i was assuming reins of publisher last august. i was surprised by the opportunity. i was editor here and this incredibly rare in this business for editors to rise through the ranks as publisher. usuallyt -- i was an editor and i had great passion for the mission we have and the content we produce and how it intersects. so a friend knew a little bit about my preppedation, right, a little bit of anxiety. it came from an irish playwrite, guy named george bernard shaw. i've got it taped to my computer. it is really important to kind of listen. progress is impossible without change. and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. so think about that. it relates to the massive transformation unfolding in
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this industry of ours. the register, sioux city, other newsrooms around the country particularly in this state, weef beak newsrooms of story tellers and watch dogs. social media experts, interpreters and big data. things that five years ago, i know i wasn't talking about in my newsroom. i know you weren't talking about it in here but you are today just like i am. somewhere between all of that and des moines, still two print editions touching readers in all kinds of ways and our sunday paper is reaching more than 400,000 readers in this great state. it is a remarkable time to be a journalist, an unbelievable opportunity to leave an imprint. i'm proud of the things we're accomplishing. we have the seventh best reach as it relates to the combined digital in the entire country and that's great. here is something else even greater. change is a mandate. if you are in this school, if you are studying this business, anything related to
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communications, be prepared. strap it on. change is a mandate. it's nonnegotiable. i shared that with my staff, some folks who got their arms crossed and they want to go back to their alleged glory days and remember the way it used to be. i'm a guy who has great respect and grew up as a kid in newsrooms and back in ohio before i even went to college i remember those days but i also know things have changed. if you hate change, i tell that staff, stick around because you're really going to love extinction. shaw was so very right. progress is impossible without change. now, folks have asked me and it'll probably come up tonight the whole idea of print. do i see print going away any time soon? several of you asked me that before i came up tonight. no i don't. clearly, things have changed as it relates to full access on all platforms and a multitude of ways in which we engage readers. print i'm convinced is a staple and will still be part of our portfolio of what it is that we
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offer. chris, you're probably battling the same things in terms of finding that device and platform that they want. will our readership shrink? continue to decline? sure. absolutely just as i know my mobile traffic and tablet traffic and all things digitally will continue to soar. as i said, someone has to react to the fact that we're able to literally get news on our wrist. it's not just that we can get it on our smart phone. that's not enough. now we got to get it on our wrist. yet there is this one constant in this whole sea of change if you will. something that hasn't changed in all the many years i've been in newsrooms going back to when i was 14 back in ohio. to newsrooms in cincinnati and here in des moines, to mid sized operation in southern california. i have talked to thousands of readers. virginia is one of them. talked to other alleged experts and folks who follow this.
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i have learned three simple words. kind of defining what it is we have to zero in on. yesterday, today, tomorrow. three simple words. content is king. say it again. three simple words. content is king. there was a time, not that long ago, where the success of the newspaper industry was defined exclusively with the ink and paper experience. that morning daily, 5:30 thump on the door step and for some folks the afternoon daily that greeted you after work. there is now a realization if we're to survive, and we will, but it requires adaptation we have to do it in a different way and be more of an all platforms approach. how many times have we had time together with your staff talking about the fact what are you doing for your readers today? and not just in print. what are we doing throughout the entire day on all different aspects? it's just more than generating exclusive content.
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the content has to be essential. so a crying need right now, what i see is that there is a fancy -- we've taken our eye off the ball. the idea of the essential content is king. it comes at a time of unprecedented competition. from bloggers in their moms' basement, right, they've got an iphone and think they're a journalist, and guess what, they are, to media groups like politico who wants to come in and dominate the political scene. al jazeera, relative newcomer doing amazing work. even unsuspecting sites like tmz known for all the celebrity quick videos. their persistent reporting has shaken the nfl to its very core because of the video it had last week of ray rice and the elevator scene with his fiance. there is a very, very good chance the nfl commissioner might lose his job. that's where we are today. smart phones have made everyone
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a journalist and it's more than dancing cat videos. i am proud, very proud despite those challenges, those changes, the register hasn't we have built a state-of-the-art video studio. from everything from -- everything from entertainment to business. we are rolling out new partnerships. week, we are introducing a new structure to our newsroom. really important time for all of us. the thing that is so critical is about theve to think consumer nonstop. we can still do the high-quality journalism we are known for in the new era. we got a big kudo at the end of


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